A growing crowd of left-wing journalists, pundits and late night hosts are fighting a crusade against the “normalization” of President-elect Donald Trump — that is, against ever portraying the next president as seemingly anything other than a monster.
Although present in the general election, the left-wing crusade against “normalization” has intensified since Trump won the election on Tuesday.
President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are all guilty of “normalizing” the president-elect by “accepting Trump’s legitimacy,” according to left-wing website Salon.com.
The author of that piece, Adam Johnson argued that “Instead of appealing to civility or plotting a run four years down the road, pundits who truly want to undermine Trump as much as possible should spend more time supporting their local anti-Trump protests and far less time treating Trump like just another politician. The left can only combat Trump by leveraging both its political and activist wings, not indulging in Sorkinesque gestures of ‘working together.'”
Rooting for Trump to succeed so the country as a whole can succeed is, according to late night comedian John Oliver, dangerously “normalizing” the president-elect. Oliver’s cries were amplified by German Lopez for left-wing website Vox. Lopez, who previously encouraged violent rioting, titled his article “John Oliver makes the case against normalizing Trump.”
Other prominent liberals taking stands against the “normalization” of the president-elect include (but aren’t limited to): late night talk show host Seth Myers, Forbes contributor Micheline Maynard, New Yorker contributor Hua Hsu, New Yorker editor David Remnick and left-wing nonprofit Media Matters.
But undermining the liberal argument against “normalizing” Trump is the uncomfortable fact that many liberal journalists seemed to have no problem doing just that when The Donald was running against Republicans.
Here are just a few examples.
In February, 2016 — two months after Trump announced his plan to ban Muslim immigration — Salon’s Amanda Marcotte wrote an article titled “Rubio and Cruz are the real monsters: Liberals should be rooting for Trump — and he’ll be easier to beat come November.”
“Trump annoys because he’s loud and rude,” Marcotte wrote. “Because if you actually look past the surface, even by a millimeter, to the policy level, this notion that Trump is somehow more hateful than his competitors Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio simply becomes laughable.”
That same month, Vox co-founder Matthew Yglesias wrote an article titled “Why I’m more worried about Marco Rubio than Donald Trump.”
Yglesias claimed Trump was “actually running on a much less extreme agenda than his ‘establishment’ rival Marco Rubio, who’s offering a platform of economic ruin, multiple wars, and an attack on civil liberties that’s nearly as vicious as anything Trump has proposed — even while wrapping it in an edgy, anxious, overreaction-prone approach to politics that heavily features big risky bets and huge, unpredictable changes in direction.” He later backtracked, calling Trump “terrifying.”
“If he does win, a Trump presidency would probably wind up doing less harm to the country than a Marco Rubio or a Cruz presidency. It might even, possibly, do some good,” Chait wrote.
Similarly, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus argued that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is even more “dangerous” than Trump.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this,” Marcus wrote. “I might prefer President Trump.”